If you are a small business who applied to the government for loan assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can now have your loan forgiven.

Back on March 27th, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress, providing emergency economic stimulus to small businesses and certain eligible recipients in response to the economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the CARES Act, nearly $350 billion was made available in loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Loan forgiveness is not automatic; borrowers must request it through their PPP lender. In order to apply for forgiveness, the borrower must complete and submit to its lender an Application (see button below). The Application has an expiration date of October 31, 2020. However, the CARES Act and guidance issued to date have not established a formal deadline. It is advisable that borrowers apply as soon as possible in order to lessen the interest carry associated with their PPP loan and the possibility of additional guidance that may negatively impact their Application. Borrowers should also continue to monitor developments in this area as the SBA and Treasury may issue additional guidance that establishes an outside date by which the Application must be filed.

We spoke with Clinton Gerst, President of the Bank of Bozeman, on Friday on the XL Morning Show, and he explained that the application is lengthy. He recommended getting starting on it as soon as possible and also calling your business accountant or tax person to help you. If you have questions, you can also call your local lender or the Bank of Bozeman.